Metta World Peace: Lakers made good decision to waive me

Metta World Peace LakersMetta World Peace wanted to retire as a Los Angeles Lakers player, but he concedes the team did the smart thing by waiving him.

World Peace was released by the Lakers this month via the amnesty provision. He was owed just over $7 million for the upcoming season, and the Lakers may have saved themselves double that amount because of luxury tax implications.

Speaking from the set of a Hallmark Channel TV show on Friday, Metta told the LA Daily News that he would have released himself too if he were the Lakers.

“I think it’s a good move,” World Peace told the Daily News’ Mark Medina. “If I was the franchise, it’s different. But not being the franchise, they have to make a decision.

“They saved more money,” World Peace said. “But if it was me, I would’ve made a bold decision and saved more money.”

World Peace told Medina he would have amnestied everyone except franchise player Kobe Bryant (teams are only allowed to amnesty one player, so that would have been impossible). Metta signed a two-year, $3.2 million deal for the veteran minimum with the New York Knicks. He still will be paid the difference between what the Knicks signed him for and what the Lakers owed him.

Even though the Lakers amnestied World Peace and lost Dwight Howard in free agency, they have made two quality additions by signing Nick Young and Jordan Farmar.

Dwight Howard reportedly wanted Lakers to move past the Kobe Bryant era

Dwight Howard Kobe BryantThere have already been a number of theories floated around about why Dwight Howard chose not to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but this is one of the most interesting. We have heard that Howard felt Mike D’Antoni did not give him enough of a voice within the locker room, but did the power struggle also have to do with Kobe Bryant?

According to ESPNLosAngeles.com, Howard and his representatives told the Lakers in free agent meetings that the 27-year-old would have a hard time staying with the team if Bryant signed an extension beyond the 2013-2014 season. In other words, Howard supposedly wanted LA to move on from the Kobe Bryant era.

Sources reportedly told ESPN that the Lakers went to “great lengths” last year to assure Howard that he was the future face of the franchise as Kobe nears the end of his career. However, Bryant has recently expressed a desire to play well beyond next season and even said he will not be taking a pay cut on his next contract.

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Metta World Peace described being amnestied using his favorite burger joint

Metta-World-PeaceMetta World Peace has a very unique way with words. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to use the amnesty provision to get out from under his contract, and we already know how Kobe Bryant feels about it. It seems like World Peace is equally disappointed — I think?

On Wednesday morning, World Peace took to Twitter to rant about how his favorite burger joint raised the price of vegan burgers and did something to the buns. The more he wrote, the more it became obvious he wasn’t actually talking about food.

Leave it to the guy who thanked Jesus for making him lose his teeth at a young age to compare being released to a menu change. While World Peace has been a solid bench contributor for the Lakers over the past four seasons, he is 34, battling injuries, and owed $7.7 million next year. If LA is trying to get younger after losing Dwight Howard, it makes sense that World Peace has become expendable.

Lamar Odom reportedly wants to sign with Lakers

Lamar OdomLamar Odom is an unrestricted free agent and would like to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report.

Hollywood Life (yes, I realize how funny that sounds) says Odom will sign with the Lakers if they offer him a contract.

“It’s very close if not already in the works that Lamar is reuniting with the Los Angeles Lakers,” a source told Hollywood Life. “He wants to retire a Laker.”

The source told the site that the Clippers are Odom’s second choice and that he would be willing to re-sign with them, but they are not offering anything close to what he earned last season. Odom made $8.2 million last season, but the money was paid by the Dallas Mavericks, who traded Odom to the Clippers and received a trade exception in return. There is no way a team would pay Odom anything near that amount.

Odom was out of shape to start the season with the Clippers, but he saw more minutes the rest of the year. He averaged just under 20 minutes per game, but he pulled down 5.9 rebounds per game.

A report over the weekend said the Lakers have reached out to Odom. ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne says the team still has interest in Odom even after signing Chris Kaman. Odom is turning 34 in November.

Lakers reportedly will waive Metta World Peace via amnesty provision

Metta World PeaceThe Los Angeles Lakers will waive Metta World Peace via the amnesty provision, Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports.

According to Ding, the move will happen “barring some late change.” Ding also says the move will save the Lakers $30 million.

World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal with the Lakers prior to the 2009 NBA season. World Peace was coming off an excellent season with the Houston Rockets and took less money to sign with the Lakers. The move paid off; the team won a championship in his first season.

Metta played significantly less minutes in the next two seasons after winning the title, but his minutes and numbers saw a boost under new coach Mike D’Antoni, in whose system he led the team in 3-pointers made and attempted.

Kobe Bryant seemed to confirm the move with this tweet:

World Peace turns 34 in November and dealt with a knee injury last season. The Lakers are rebuilding and must not feel it is worth bringing him back for the $7.7 million he is owed.

When a player is waived via the amnesty provision, his salary does not count against the salary cap or luxury tax. A team can claim the player off waivers for a reduced amount, and the team that waived the player would have to pay the difference in salary. If the players goes through waivers, the team that waived him is responsible for paying the entire salary. The player can then sign a contract with a new team for the veteran’s minimum.

Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly reached out to Lamar Odom

Lamar-Odom-Upset-with-LakersLamar Odom has practically been nonexistent in the NBA since he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. In two seasons with the Mavs and Los Angeles Clippers, the 33-year-old averaged only 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while playing roughly 20 minutes per game. Despite the drop in production, the Lakers may be interested in bringing him back.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reported on Saturday that the Lakers have reached out to Odom, though the interest level on either side is unclear at this point. While LA is in need of size with Dwight Howard announcing his decision to sign with the Rockets on Friday, you have to wonder how much Odom would be able to contribute at this stage in his career.

The prospect of Odom returning to the Lakers is intriguing in that many feel he could have continued to play at a high level if he was never traded to Dallas. Odom nearly came to tears when discussing the trade in 2011, and the Mavs ended up paying him to not be on their roster in 2012. Did Lamar love being a Laker so much that he could revert to his 2010-2011 form, when he averaged 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game?

That’s a possibility, but it’s also important to remember that Mike D’Antoni is still the coach of the Lakers. Last season, D’Antoni struggled to find ways to properly use his bigs. Most people believe that is one of the reasons Howard decided to leave. Not only that, but Odom was said to be devastated when Phil Jackson — who he looked up to as a father — retired from the Lakers.

All in all, a reunion just doesn’t seem logical.

Rick Fox appears to be having fun with Dwight Howard-Lakers drama

Dwight-Howard-LakersThe Los Angeles Lakers have been working hard to convince Dwight Howard to stay in LA over the past couple of weeks. As expected, Howard has opted to test free agency. If it’s attention he is looking for, the Lakers have been giving him plenty of it.

The Lakers have tried billboards, a social media campaign and a television show offer to help sweeten the pot for Howard. Heck, Jack Nicholson has even spoken to Dwight about coming back next season. Former Laker Rick Fox took a different angle on Tuesday, as he appeared to be heckling Howard on Twitter over the frenzy he is creating.

There have been rumors that Howard has legitimate interest of going to Texas and signing with either the Dallas Mavericks or Houston Rockets. Rapper Slim Thug made that sound like an even better idea on Monday when he sent out a series of hilarious tweets that contained reasons why Howard should want to play in the Lone Star State.

[Related: Kobe does not want to convince Dwight Howard to stay with Lakers]

As I said before, this is exactly what Howard wants. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has already made up his mind about where he is signing, because we know he’s loving every second of the attention — no matter what form it comes in.